Handling Uncomfortable Conversations with Care and Compassion for Business Integrity

Are you comfortable with uncomfortable conversations?


Things are not going well. Learners are not progressing, and data shows that a large percentage of learners will not complete their apprenticeships on time. What's worse is that there seems to be a correlation between this data and a specific tutor. So, what is the solution?


It is vital to identify any drop in performance as soon as possible, and this can only happen when data is collected and analyzed regularly.


However, having a conversation with a team member about their performance can be uncomfortable. Yet, I strongly believe in nipping issues in the bud. It needs to be addressed now.


If a performance issue is not dealt with, it becomes accepted as the norm, making it almost impossible to reverse the trend.


I have been guilty of not addressing a performance issue in the past, hoping that the team member would realize that the current role was not the right fit for them. Did they? Of course not. They didn't understand the subtle hints of poor performance. Why should they?


As a result, I failed to provide them with the support they desperately needed to reassess their fit in the organization. They felt let down while trying but never succeeded in meeting unrealistic targets.


Can you imagine the amount of time and resources wasted? Most importantly, it was the learners and employers who suffered the most. It would have been kinder to identify the skill gap, implement training plans to develop the employee's skills, set a realistic timeline, and provide support mechanisms to either demonstrate consistent skills for the role or explore other positions within or outside the business that would be a better fit.


Uncomfortable situations should not be ignored, nor should they be handled insensitively.


Handling uncomfortable conversations ensures that you are protecting the integrity and sustainability of your business.


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